Concept Vehicles

Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and smart at the Design Los Angeles Challenge

Words Chris Danielson | November 01, 2011
The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow has proportions reminiscent of the Mercedes W125 series, a Silberpfeil racecar of the late 1930’s
Words Chris Danielson November 01, 2011

For the past eight years, the Design Los Angeles Board of Directors – made up of  twelve design studio executives – have chosen a theme for the the LA Auto Show’s Design Challenge. This year’s chosen them is “Hollywood’s Hottest New Movie Car” and design studios from around the globe have been invited to participate and submit their designs.  Studios from Germany, Japan and the U.S have chosen to compete including Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, smart, Honda, Subaru and Hyundai.

How the vehicle reflects its brand attributes relative to the movie plot; how the vehicle relates to the targeted audience or brand; the level of imagination; the character development of the vehicle; and the uniqueness of the combination of story, car and character are the various factors that the entries are judged on.

Mercedes Silver Arrow- Silver Lightning

In homage to 125 years of automotive innovation and design excellence, Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America features a story with two techno characters that have achieved a unique harmony between safety and style; the iconic Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow racecar, and the underappreciated ‘Crash test dummy.’

In a futuristic society of increased artificial intelligence, two enlightened crash test mannequins, Hans05 and Franz02, show that they’re no dummies when it comes to recognizing a potential catastrophe and decide to take matters into their own hands. As the evil battering ram Dr. Crash-Barrier seeks to continue his reign of terror and mayhem, the two heroes take action to save their beloved Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow. They lead the relentless ‘Dr. Barrier’ on an action packed thrill ride through the past and future of transportation.

A long-slung, sculpture on wheels – actually on ‘Hoops’ – the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow has proportions reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz W125 series, a Silberpfeil racecar of the late 1930’s and the Uhlenhaut SLR from the 50’s. The overall shape follows distinguished Mercedes-Benz design traditions and is born from a dominant Formula 1 racing legacy. It also features a diagonally configured, hub-less roller track for ‘Omni-Directional’ maneuvering.

Brought to you by the creators of ‘Biome, a car grown from trees’, this epic adventure has it all, including a surprise ending that will have audiences cheering as our reluctant heroes save the day with a little old- school subterfuge and help from the great tradition of the Mercedes-Benz automobiles.

Maybach Berline- Cinderella and the Maybach Berline

Berline Carriage Engineer, her Stepmother, a retired Actress, and her Stepmother’s spoiled daughter who spent her days partying at the Billionares Club while Cindy spent all day working at her father’s workshop.

On the night of her birthday, Cindy’s father surprises her with a beautiful dress and allows her to take a new Maybach prototype out on the town – a reinterpretation of the historic Berline Carriage. Based on the dimensions of a Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, the Maybach Berline Carriage is an E-Cell or F-Cell vehicle and features autonomous driving that allows Cindy to have an amazing night out, where she meets a handsome stranger.

The Carriage is teleoperated via a satellite link to a Maybach Virtual Chauffeur Center. This leaves maximum interior space for the passengers and also allows maximum privacy. The passengers are seated in a vis-à-vis seating layout with a “Royal Lounge” on one side and two single seats on the other. A large glass screen with 3D laser projection is suspended from the ceiling and can display the Virtual Chauffeur or a variety of media and entertainment. The interior and exterior come together seamlessly and are comprised of sustainable materials like wood. Large divided gullwing doors with oversized privacy glass open wide for entry with retractable stairs for convenient entrance (inspired by business jets).

Moviegoers will awe in the romance and new technology as Cindy goes on the journey of a lifetime.

Smart 341 Parkour- Annie get the Grannies!

In a world of continuous change, in Cantpark City, reporter Annie Angle is beginning a new chapter in her life. Cantpark City is famous for its friendly people, the beautiful weather, but notoriously known for a lack of parking spaces. On an early Sunday morning, an article in a newspaper catches Annie’s eyes… “Smart Granny Robots missing!!!”

Annie sets off on a journey to solve the mystery of the missing Grannies and to earn her first, potentially career-making, front page news article. Her Smart 341 Parkour vehicle plays a key role in this private investigation, providing both effective transportation and favourable sleuthing capabilities.

Several features enable her to take pictures from the best possible locations. The large greenhouse gives Annie 360 degrees of visibility while travelling through the inner city. The wheels are retractable and contain impulse pads and vacuum cups. The hexagon skin around the wheelhouse is adjustable to release the wheels. The Smart has different modes: a typical drive mode, a fly mode that allows the vehicle to hover far above the streets and a climb mode that allows the vehicle to run up the walls of skyscrapers.

Follow Annie’s investigative search in Smart’s “Annie get the Grannies!” this November.